Roundup: GCMS, Fisher, Tuscola come up big
GCMS 36, Fieldcrest 7
GIBSON CITY – Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley's offense produced a big early lead and the Falcons' defense made it stand up.
GCMS, leading 29-8 at the half, allowed Fieldcrest 27 total yards in the second half.
"I thought things clicked on offense, and our defense played an outstanding game," GCMS coach Mike Allen said. "And when you have Michael Romshek and Stephan Birt in the backfield, anything can happen."
Romshek rushed for 97 yards and a touchdown. He caught a 52-yard TD strike from Birt. Birt had two scoring runs, including one from 46 yards.
Fisher 28, Deer Creek-Mackinaw 6
MACKINAW – Fisher used a blast from football's past to roll to a road win.
Guy Kirby (26 carries, 156 yards rushing) and Zack West (19 carries, 111 yards) led the Bunnies' bruising ground game. Kirby ran for three scores and West one.
"We did a real good job of establishing the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball," Fisher coach Matt Leng said. "Offensively, we went back to old-school football. The last two weeks we've established the run and gone back to the basics."
Kirby led the defensive effort with 10 tackles.
Arthur-Lovington 33, East Central 6
ARTHUR – Bobby Aikman and Justin Schuring powered a prolific running game for the Knights.
Aikman collected 178 yards and three touchdowns on 11 carries. Schuring opened the scoring with a 40-yard run in the first quarter and added a 56-yard TD in the third quarter. He finished with 162 yards on 14 carries.
East Central's Dylan Ross had a 35-yard TD run to tie it at 6 after one quarter, but the Knights scored the next 27 points.
Tuscola 28, Maroa-Forsyth 0
TUSCOLA – Phillip Meyer ran for one touchdown and passed for another to lead Tuscola to a 28-0 rout of Maroa-Forsyth, the No. 6 team in Class 2A.
Meyer finished with 134 of the Warriors' 245 rushing yards. The sophomore also threw for 109 yards, including a 27-yard TD strike to Pat Yoakum.
Tuscola's other scores came on runs of 2 yards by Josh Scribner, 4 yards by Meyer and 5 yards by Cody Schelmadine.
Yoakum finished with two catches for 55 yards.
The Warrior defense held M-F to 116 yards. Jordan Knerr led Tuscola with nine tackles, while Scribner contributed six.
Oakwood/A-P 31, Westville 26
WESTVILLE – Ryan Strange ran for four touchdowns to lead Oakwood/Armstrong-Potomac to a come-from-behind victory.
The Comets trailed 14-13 at halftime before scoring 18 of the next 24 points.
Brendon Severado scored four TDs for Westville, which failed to convert its last three attempts at two-point conversions.
"I thought we had trouble tackling Ryan Strange," Tigers coach Guy Goodlove said, "And we did not do a very good job of scoring on our two-point conversions."
Olympia 10, Rantoul 6
STANFORD – The Eagles took the early lead but couldn't capitalize on two other prime scoring opportunities in a Corn Belt loss.
"Tough one tonight," Rantoul coach Shane Carter said. "The kids played hard enough and never quit. We were there to the very end. Right now we're not finishing in a way to win and get over that hump."
Tyvon Davis gave the Eagles a 6-0 lead in the first quarter with a 4-yard TD run. Rantoul later twice drove within the Olympia 10-yard line. The first drive was stymied by a penalty with time running out in the first half. The Eagles also had a 4th-and-goal at about the 6-yard line near the end of the game but couldn't convert.
Salt Fork 42, G-RF/C 12
SIDELL – Lance Hubbard scored three touchdowns and rushed for 96 yards as the Storm had its most productive offensive performance of the season in a homecoming win at Jamaica High School. Korie Vire scored both of the Buffaloes' TDs, one on a pass from Ryan Dieu and one on a run from scrimmage. The win clinched Salt Fork's ninth consecutive playoff appearance. Cody Davis gained 93 yards and scored twice for the Storm, who received a team-high nine tackles from Tony Marrow.
St. Thomas More 33, Paxton-Buckley-Loda 0
PAXTON – After a comfortable win, some St. Thomas More players couldn't help but look ahead. The 7-0 Sabers are on a mission to become the first Champaign-Urbana team since 1998 to finish the regular season undefeated.
"It's definitely possible," said sophomore Paul Comet, who had three touchdowns (two rushing and an interception return). "We've never gone past 3-0 (before this season). Everyone's pretty excited."
STM will play Iroquois West at home next Friday and travel to Spring Valley Hall to cap the regular season.
The Sabers scored all of their points in the first half in a sloppy game on a slick playing surface. Both teams combined for a total of 351 yards on the game.
"You get sloppy play when you get a sloppy field," STM coach Dan Hennessey said. "We just came off the bus not wanting to play. I don't know what it was. We got up on them pretty much the way we should've, we just didn't finish and that's something you have to work on."
With its starters playing the entirety of the second half, STM gained just 59 yards of offense in five second-half possessions. Parker Stewart rushed for 95 yards and a touchdown. Comet finished with 42 yards on the ground. Julian Boswell was 7 of 14 passing for 101 yards and a touchdown.
Zack Raker led PBL with 77 yards rushing.
After the game, Hennessey had to remind his frustrated players to smile. "You're 7-0," he told them.
"What I saw, I liked," Hennessey said. "I saw a lot of kids looking like they didn't play well. Some other kids would've said they were 7-0 and jumping around but these kids weren't happy with the way they played, even though they won. Hopefully, that's a good sign because there's a lot more work to be done."
South Piatt 14, Martinsville 7
BEMENT – Colin Auth passed for a touchdown and returned an interception for another to lead the Wildcats to victory.
Auth put South Piatt on the scoreboard in the second quarter with a 55-yard return of a pass interception. Later in the period, Auth connected with Konnor Wright on a 24-yard TD pass. Auth also caught three passes for 25 yards. Steve Bryan rushed for 145 yards for the Wildcats.
SJ-O 33, Watseka 0
ST. JOSEPH – A dominant defensive performance and fourth-quarter scoring barrage lifted St. Joseph-Ogden.
Jake Bock, Andy Bensyl and Wes Bagby scored rushing TDs during a six-minute span in the fourth quarter to break open a 13-0 game and help the Spartans win their fifth game for the 23rd year in a row.
"I thought our defense played really well tonight," SJ-O coach Dick Duval said. "They were able to step up and really execute our game plan."
The Spartans' goal was to shut down Watseka running back Marcel Maiden and they did, holding the area's leading scorer to just 34 yards on 17 carries.
The Warriors didn't have as much success with Jake Bock. The SJ-O tailback carried 38 times for 229 yards and two touchdowns as the Spartans called 50 rushing plays and only 15 passes.
"We went to Jake a lot tonight," Duval said. "It's not the most carries I've given a kid, but it was enough."
Playing on the wet turf, Bock fumbled three times and lost two. There was nine fumbles (four lost) and five interceptions.
"With as wet as it was, I thought Jake did a good job taking care of the ball," Duval said. "He's been pretty good with the ball all year."
Dylan Groves had two interceptions to lead the Spartans' defense, and Maiden had 12 tackles to pace Watseka.
Villa Grove 47, Arcola 16
VILLA GROVE – The Blue Devils rushed for 390 yards while blowing it open in the second half. John Turner paced the attack with 125 yards and three touchdowns. Eric Douglas added 121 yards and two scores. Cody Hatcher collected 90 yards on nine carries and Ervin Westray finished with 54 yards on three tries.
AJ Woodworth spearheaded the Villa Grove defense with 10 tackles and Ryan Pearce added nine.
Bismarck-Henning 51, Hoopeston Area 6
BISMARCK – The Blue Devils had seven different players score a touchdown, but it was another number that pleased Bismarck-Henning coach Mark Dodd.
"A night like tonight, turnovers will lose it for you," Dodd said. "We did a good job protecting the ball and finishing runs. In bad conditions and a sloppy field, I'm really proud of the kids that we didn't turn the ball over."
Reed Collins' 144 yards – including a 40-yard touchdown – led the Blue Devils. Matt LeCleir had 72 yards. Quarterback Michael Grant chipped in with 103 yards passing and two scores – a 36-yarder to Adam Baker and a 35-yarder to Dakota Patton.
Milford/Cissna Park 49, Schlarman 14
MILFORD – Kyle Popham ran for 131 yards and two scores to lead Milford/Cissna Park. The Bearcats' balanced attack also included 176 passing yards from quarterback Kristopher Evans. Justin Flinkman was on the receiving end of three passes, two going for touchdowns. Flinkman finished with 135 receiving yards.
Kyle Evans chipped in 65 yards rushing and three touchdowns.
Argenta-Oreana 12, Meridian 6
MERIDIAN – Clint Mueller's 15-yard touchdown run in overtime propelled the Bombers. Jordan Macklin had a 23-yard score in the second quarter for a 6-0 lead.
LeRoy 46, Ridgeview 6
COLFAX – Kyle Eastham and Justin Sexton each had two touchdowns runs for the Panthers. Eastham scored from 64 and 38 yards out in the first quarter. Sexton had TD runs of 43 and 7 yards in the third quarter.
Eisenhower 20, Urbana 8
URBANA – Tony Miller returned the opening kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown but the Tigers' offense was bogged down by penalties. Eisenhower scored to produce a 6-6 tie at halftime, and the Panthers – who snapped a 25-game losing streak – scored 14 points in the third quarter.
"They just came out in the second half and put it on us," Urbana coach Nathan Watson said.
Quarterback Kyle Clevenger, subbing for the injured Trey Russell (ankle), had 71 yards rushing on 13 carries. He threw for 59 yards.
"We didn't have a lot of penalties, but we had penalties at really bad times," Watson said. "We were in the red zone three or four times and didn't get any points. It felt like every time we touched the ball, we were one move or one block away from a big play."
Devin Butler had a first-quarter interception for the Tigers.
Centennial 30, Mattoon 0
MATTOON – The Chargers scored on their first three possessions and cruised to a win on the road. Jake Schilling's 24-yard field goal got Centennial on the board and Shaq Traylor, who rushed for 112 first-half yards, scored twice before the first quarter ended. He gained a game-high 130 yards on 23 carries. Josh Butts intercepted two Green Wave passes as the Chargers posted their first shutout of the season.